Aug 29 2006 at 3:45pm
I just came across an interesting article about writing for an international audience. There are some eye opening points in this article. It’s sort of obvious that EFL (English as a foreign language) people will have problems with ambiguous terms and colloquialisms. What I hadn’t thought of is that long sentences and complex grammar also confusing.
The article also points out some problems encountered by people who learned to read using a non-latin alphabet (such as native Chinese or Russian speakers). This means that text needs to be very clear and easy to read – short line lengths, good spacing, reasonable font size, and no funky fonts.
I didn’t realize that there were so many ways to be ambiguous in the English language!